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    4 ways smartphones can improve your practice

    There's a wealth of technology that can help your practice right at your fingertips—in your trusty smartphone.

    It seems impossible but I did not buy my first cell phone until I was 16 years old. And now that I look back, I wonder how I managed to live before this device gave me an all-access pass to the world.

    Today, we cannot even drive from home to a meeting without reaching for our cellphones (thank you, Google Maps!). And the sheer amount of information available at your fingertips should not stop at your practice’s doorstep: Dentists can increase efficiency, profitability and quality of treatment by utilizing technologies that are readily available through your smartphones.

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    1. Smartphones increase communication

    Smartphones are incredible for everything from maximizing communication to helping increase treatment acceptance. I use my smartphone for easy communication with both specialists and labs. Since it is so easy to take clear, high-quality pictures with current smartphone technology, I rely on being able to send these pictures instantaneously. Having this ability changes the conversation and allows for complete transparency when discussing issues with labs. Since this information is also all written, it allows members of the dental team to find errors and have documentation of the process. When used in conjunction with referrals to specialists, pictures and dynamic communication allow providers to provide a more seamless, team-based approach to patient care, yielding better results. 

    I also use my smartphone to communicate effectively with my staff. I use an app called “Slack,” which is a completely searchable project management app. I use it to send encouraging messages, keep everyone in the loop when it comes to logistics like calling in sick and running late, and to build the business and work on ideas of growth and development. 

    2. Smartphones facilitate treatment

    Dr. Jason Watts uses an app called Layouts to directly compare before and after results of whitening treatment. This would also be a great way to showcase bigger esthetic cases or even show a comparison when discussing goals of ortho during the treatment-planning phase. 

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    3. Smartphones help with small-business finances

    Smartphones are also complete game changers when it comes to the finances of small businesses. There are apps out there like InDinero, which help with tracking daily cash flow and expenses. Apps like Xero and Expensfy are a great way to track business expenses, keep track of tax write offs, and even upload and store receipts for easy access. For personal financing, apps like Mint allow dentists to manage their personal budgets and plan for the future. There are even cloud accounting and bookkeeping apps like Kashoo that allow dentists to manage business numbers from anywhere in the world. Even good old QuickBooks has an app so that you do not need to be tethered to your computer to complete payroll. 

    4. Smartphones change marketing strategy

    Marketing is another world which smartphones are revolutionizing. Utilizing social media to promote your practice has never been easier. Now you can use Facebook Live to broadcast team messages from your office and team mission trips from Guatemala alike. There are also apps like LocalVox that help dentists seamlessly post across sites and spread brand awareness on the internet. They will even help create and publish newsletters and events, which get sent directly to your patients. 

    Whatever your needs, it is probably true: “There is an app for that.” Smartphones can help make dentists’ lives easier and their practices better, all with the click of a button.

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